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Your Pathway into Anaesthetics training in North Queensland

Entry Requirements

  • General medical registration
  • Completion of PGY2
  • Citizen of Australia or New Zealand, or a permanent resident of Australia
  • Registered or eligible for registration with Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA)
  • Be free of chemical dependence and other health related conditions preventing the applicant performing the duties of an Anaesthetic Registrar
  • Refer to the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists for further information on selection and/or eligibility

Total Training Time

Total: 5 years (full-time)

  • 6 months (full-time) introductory training
  • 18 months (full-time) basic training
  • 24 months (full-time) advanced training
  • 12 months (full-time) provisional fellowship training

How To Apply

Appointment to QLD Accredited training positions are centrally managed through the Queensland Anaesthetic Rotational Training Scheme (QARTS), accredited by ANZCA. QARTS represents all Queensland Hospital and Health Services with rotating anaesthetic trainees, plus Lismore Base, Tweed Hospital and Royal Darwin Hospitals. Prospective applicants must apply for admission to the QARTS training scheme through the QLD Resident Medical Officer (RMO) campaign, selecting YES to the QARTS question. QARTS is divided into groups of rotations: Southern, Gold Coast, Central & Northern. The hospitals accepting applications in our region are within the Northern rotation: Townsville University Hospital, Cairns Hospital and Mackay Base Hospital. For more information on the campaign and application process go to the Queensland Health website.  

Application Deadline

Key dates for application submission, assessment and selection rounds are available on the Queensland Health Recruitment Campaign website for application through the RMO campaign. Once the campaign closes, only your preferenced facilities or training programs can access your online application and attachments to assess and conduct meritorious recruitment activities. The facility or training program may contact candidates to discuss applications, employment opportunities or organise interviews.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect as an Anaesthetic trainee?

The ANZCA training curriculum prepares the trainee to the full scope of practice required by a specialist anaesthetist in a general hospital setting. This includes breadth and depth of knowledge alongside the professional behaviours required to provide quality patient care.

The training program encompasses 4 stages: introductory training, basic training, advanced training, and provisional fellowship training. Each stage will build on the ANZCA clinical fundmentals underpinned by the development of breadth of professional behaviours referred to within the ANZCA Roles in Practice. See the ANZCA Anaesthesia Training Program Curriculum for further information.

The goal for introductory training is for the trainee to successfully and safely anaesthetise low-risk patients having low-risk surgery.

At the completion of basic training the trainee will be able to anaesthetise patients safely, with distant supervision and where there is a moderate level of complexity to the case based on patient or surgical factors. Advanced training will see the trainee be able to safely anaesthetise ASA 1-4 patients undergoing complex procedures with distant supervision.

Upon completion of provisional fellowship training the trainee will be expected to be operating at consultant level, demonstrating leadership skills and a commitment to upholding the ethical and professional standards of the specialty.

What Is an Anaesthetist?

Anaesthetists rely on a unique set of clinical skills and an extensive knowledge of physiology and pharmacology to provide appropriate anaesthesia and sedation for patients undergoing surgery and other medical procedures. Anaesthetists also administer airway management, resuscitate acutely unwell patients, and provide pain management for patients.

Specialist anaesthetists work across the full scope of the practice, performing anaesthesia for surgical and non-surgical procedures, perioperative/periprocedural care and management; assessment and management of patients requiring analgesia, critical/intensive care, and patients in emergency and trauma situations (including resuscitation and life support).

Anaesthetists work within both public and private sectors, providing care for patients of all ages. Anaesthetists often work within trauma and retrieval teams and work collaboratively with intensive care and pain medicine specialists.

Treating patients at their most critical and vulnerable point during their hospital journey requires a lot of attention to detail and an ability to not only predict and anticipate complications, but also to intervene immediately. Anaesthetists can make a real difference in both the patient experience and end outcome.

What abilities are important in this specialty?



Cultural competency

Clarity of mind

Excellent communication skills

Integrity, punctuality and reliability and a high standard of professional conduct

How many applicants get selected per year?

The number of applicants selected per year varies each year. However, as a rough guide, in 2021 there were 139 eligible applications received, with 41 applicants selected.

In Australia, there are currently 4,776 active anaesthesia specialists. In Queensland, there are 1,023 specialists and 311 active trainees.

What is it like living in North Queensland?

The northern Queensland region offers a well-balanced mix of quality education and a relaxed or adventurous lifestyle, depending on your preference. With the convenience of cities close by, but the benefit of reasonable housing costs and vast landscapes a stone’s throw away, Northern Queensland is hard to beat. 

Each regional centre is small enough to escape the hustle and bustle of big city life, but large enough to boast a range of facilities for socialising and entertainment. You can make the most of the great outdoors through rainforest hikes, mountain biking and snorkelling or scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. Living and working in Northern Queensland offers a great balance for all ages and stages, with short commute times putting more hours back into your workday, and plenty to explore on the weekends.

Networking and industry social opportunities are to be found in the tightknit hospital and health communities. Our vision is to improve the health of communities in the northern Queensland region by addressing the shortage of doctors in the area, a passion which unites the students, interns, junior doctors, and specialists training and working here. 

Our training region ensure trainees have access to a wide range of hospital and health settings of varying sizes and capabilities offering diverse case load and case mix. These training areas include the following health service areas: Cairns, Central West, Mackay, North West, Torres and Cape, and Townsville.


Disclaimer: The information provided on this website aims to assist medical students and doctors in training with medical career planning. While every effort has been made to ensure the information is current and accurate, all details should be verified through the relevant Specialist College.

NQRTH is an initiative of the Australian Government's Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP) and is facilitated by James Cook University in partnership with public and private hospitals, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC), health services, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) and GP clinics.

Cairns region
(07) 4226 8187

Central West region
(07) 4764 1547

Mackay region
(07) 4885 7122

North West region
(07) 4764 1547

Torres and Cape region
(07) 4095 6103

Townsville region
(07) 4781 3424